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Safe Haven book takes on life beyond the page

An updated edition of Safe Haven, the story of Wairarapa’s World War One military camp, will be launched in Featherston tomorrow.

It’s now 12 years since historian and archivist Neil Frances wrote Safe Haven: The untold story of New Zealand’s largest ever military camp, Featherston: 1916-1919. Published by the Wairarapa Archival Society and Fraser Books, three editions were printed between 2012 and 2016.

Since the initial publication of the book, interest in and activities associated with the camp have taken on a life of their own. These have included: the Paul Dibble sculpture in Featherston; the Rimutaka Crossing monument erected at the Remutaka Rd Summit in 2015; the 2016 Aratoi Featherston Camp exhibition; March On, the 2017 documentary about the camp made by Masterton film-maker Allan Honey; and the camp panorama installed by Heritage NZ at the Featherston Camp Memorial layby, across State Highway Two from the main camp land, in 2022.

The updated edition, with an additional chapter and 29 more photographs, includes new information about camp commandant Lieutenant Colonel Noel Adams, the camp baths, surviving buildings, the 2015 Rimutaka/Remutaka Re-enactment March, and Aratoi’s 2016 centennial exhibition.

The public is welcome at the launch of the expanded edition of Safe Haven at 2.30pm tomorrow [Sunday, April 21], at Messines Bookshop in Featherston. An RSVP to Messines Bookshop, by emailing [email protected], would be appreciated.

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